By: Staci Rutherford
When I first discovered that a new accessories boutique was coming to town, I could not wait to share the news with all of the trendsetters and fashionistas of the Midlands! GWEN RAWLS Italian Shoe Boutique opened on August 23, and of course, I had to stop by to check out all of the fabulous shoes imported straight from Italy. I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Gwen Rawls, at Power of the Purse a few months prior to the opening, and instantly connected with her since we share a passion for beautiful accessories.
A South Carolina native with a love for European fashion, Gwen has traveled extensively throughout Europe, but she always returned to Milan to explore the world’s fashion capital. Like many women living in Columbia, Gwen felt her shoe shopping options were limited, and typically went to boutiques in Charlotte, New York and Atlanta to find the stylish brands she loved.
Gwen began conceptualizing an Italian shoe boutique that could help women in Columbia—and throughout the southeast—find their own foundation for fashion right here in the capital city. “At GWEN RAWLS, women will find elegant Italian shoes and bags that are limited in quantity to ensure a customer can build her own signature look. I want my customers to feel empowered with their purchase and to give them a renewed sense of elegance.”
When I first stepped into the boutique, I didn’t know which way to turn. There were beautiful shoes displayed everywhere. The staff at GWEN RAWLS was warm and friendly, which is often rare when shopping at an upscale place. I can honestly say that Gwen really thought about her customers’ lifestyle when she personally selected each shoe. Styles include embellished stilettos, knee high boots, booties and flats for women like me who find it difficult to stay graceful in a heel more than 3 inches.
The next time you are out and about, stop by GWEN RAWLS and tell them Staci sent you. It is located near Chipotle at 4840 Forest Drive, Suite 17. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Also, be sure to connect with GWEN RAWLS via Facebook at www.facebook.com/GwenRawlsShoes or on Twitter @GwenRawls. You can also visit the website at www.gwenrawls.com.